Jessica Yellin is an early riser, starting her days at 6:30 a.m. and spending hours reading through news sites. Even after an award-winning career at news outlets like CNN, she knows just how overwhelming the world can be, and how frustrating it is to internalize news in a meaningful way.
If you’re looking to stop doomscrolling, look no further than Yellin’s Instagram. Here you’ll find bite-size information from News Not Noise. Yellin founded the media brand to get you the information you need—without the accompanying panic attack. It’s geared toward women under 50 who are tired of all the “anger and negativity.” She separates the news from the hysteria and breaks it down so it’s simple to understand, using empathy in place of fear-mongering.
“I came to this because I was in the news forever, and it always felt to me like a lot of these panel discussions were like joining a dinner party 10 minutes after it started,” Yellin says. “You’re like, ‘What’s that word mean? Who’s that person?’ And it’s just this yelling and fighting, and it turns people off. And I would go to these events, and women especially would say, ‘I can’t listen to it.’”
There’s a sense of freedom in running her own news stream, but she also has to deal with the pressure of knowing the information is on her to determine and deliver. It can be isolating, but it’s also one of the best parts of her job. For Glamour’s Doing the Work column, Yellin talks about the exhilarating but terrifying feeling of working for yourself, as well as how she unwinds, her morning routine, and her biggest workplace challenge.
Glamour: Do you have a morning routine?
Jessica Yellin: My mornings are pretty consistent. Against the advice of every wellness expert, I start by doing a survey of the news. I check Twitter, I check my texts for tips, I check emails for any information directly from people, and then I just start going through the news sources. I decide what to post. I hopefully finish that around 9:00 or 9:30, and that’s when I break, and I exercise and meditate. I should try to flip it, but I never succeed, so I’ve accepted that this is how it is.
Are you a breakfast person?
Coffee, iced tea, hot tea, and water.
What was your first childhood dream job?
A fashion designer.
And what was your first actual job?
I made cappuccinos at [L.A. department store] Fred Segal as a teenager, and I was terrible at it.
I mean, I could never get the milk-to-coffee ratio right for any customer.
How do you generally deal with rejection at work?
In my career, you’re faced with rejection all the time because you’re constantly pitching stories, getting no’s, and trying to chase sources. I always take rejection to heart. I do not understand the people who say that you’ve just got to let it slide off your back. But if it’s something important, a no often fortifies me to find another way.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve personally received?
Take time to figure out what you want before going after it. And I know that sounds incredibly obvious and simple, but it’s really much more complicated than it sounds. My career advice used to be “Do what they tell you to do, and ask for what you want.” Because in my career it was always true—I said I want to be White House correspondent, and they’d say, “Well, that’s cute, but you’re in Tampa, so you’re going to cover this murder in Tampa.” But finally I said it enough, and I did enough good work along the way, that when there was an opening, they thought of me, and I got to the White House.